Lord Lugard in 1912 said ”Let it be admitted at the onset that European brains and resources have not been and will never be expended in developing the countries of Africa on the basis of sheer philanthropy.”
These philosophies and ideologies have not and will not change. Technological education is presently at its lowest ebb since pre-colonial days when the natives of the Niger area had fabric weaving (adire), forging, fishing and local crafts to cater for their direct needs.
Several years after their independence from European powers, most African countries are still dependent on relief, aid and subventions from Europe and America for their economic development. The younger generation of Africans however seem to be aware that these sources of development are not real (with special reference to Lord Lugard).
A particular area of interest in African humanitarian work is food production.
”Nigeria became independent of British rule in 1960. After independence Nigeria experienced frequent coups and long periods of autocratic military rule between 1966 and 1999, when a democratic civilian government was established. While oil wealth has financed major investments in the country’s infrastructure, Nigeria remains among the world’s poorest countries in terms of per capita income. Oil revenues led the government to ignore agriculture, and Nigeria must now import farm products to feed its people.”
This statement summarizes how the western world sees Nigeria but far beyond how we are seen is the exact greeting phrase. ”How are you?” since I never ask my friend ”How are you seen?”.
In 2008, Nigeria’s estimated population was 138,283,240, yielding an average density of 152 persons per sq km (393 per sq mi). With a birth rate of 40 per 1,000 and a death rate of 16.4 per 1,000, Nigeria’s population is growing at an average of 2 percent annually—a rapid pace and little changed from the 1970s. The average Nigerian woman gives birth 5 times in her lifetime, although among more educated women the rate is somewhat lower. Nearly half of Nigerians are younger than 15 years. By 2025 the population is projected to grow to 206 million.
This post is not about demography but about what the plans of the government is for the future and the unborn, if at least the present adulterous generation must suffer. We also look briefly at possible intervention schemes that can be sponsored by private individuals and humanitarian organizations seeing the government is failing in food production. Have you heard of an aquaponic system (this is not just fish farming but fish farming with technological innovations attached). Its history is traced back to the Aztecs but is being developed by young Africans across the continent as a source of food and income. The most recognized of these series of empowerment trainings is by an American organization called Growing Power. However, humanitarian organizations like The Nigerian Red Cross can easily organize such trainings for youths at lesser cost (Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you may be feeding the whole of Africa for a lifetime). You can take up the challenge, we’ve given you the basic facts, do a small research and you can come up with a good idea on helping the teeming hungry.
However, these questions linger:
1. With promotion of these innovations by humanitarian organizations, how long will Africa remain hungry?
2. How many more people are willing to delve into the evolving science of aquaponics to provide food for the continent?
3. How far are the home front and local groups of humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross willing to go to make this cause bring the desired results?
4. How do I fit in the plan? Remember its technology and it’s for humanitarian uses.